On Friday, November 13, 2009, my 19 year old niece was killed in a car accident.
Friday the 13th was never a big deal. Until now. Our lives were changed that day.
Morgan was a beautiful, artsy, creative college student interested in being a nurse.
We miss her every day.
It is hard to believe that so many years have passed.
When I look back on how we got better, how crying every day turned into every week turned into every month, etc., there are a few grief fighting experiences I can share.
Look for Strength
Some people look up when trying to find strength.
They find strength in their faith, in their church, in the hope, they will see their loved one again.
It is sometimes difficult to try to find reasoning and question, why did this happen?
She was too young, she was too smart, she was too fun, she was just getting started…
Personally, I found strength in the most unlikely place.
From her mom.
My sister, Venessa, mourned and grieved this great loss, a loss no parent should have to experience.
But early on she said, “I do not want this to define me. I do not want this to be the end of me. I have three other children and now grandchildren. I have to keep living.”
I have never been more encouraged by her strength.
I remember calling Venessa on Morgan’s birthday or this day. It was my intention to comfort and console. But I was the one that was comforted and consoled. How did she do that?
Whether your strength comes from above or from those around you, find strength in living and in going on when it seems like you can’t.
Treasure the Memories
I have found that the pictures I have of Morgan are more precious.
I remember the trips we took together, the holidays we celebrated and the fun we had and there is something comforting about the fact that even though she wasn’t on the planet as long as we wanted her to be, we have really great memories with her.
There are a few gifts that I have from her that still put a smile on my face. I also have a few that I gave her.
I treasure the memories because it is much better to have known her and remember laughing with her than to have missed out on that.
I am glad she was in our lives even though the loss is tremendous.
Accept the New Normal
So many times after losing someone, there is something in my brain that is still in denial.
After I lost my granny, I would reach for the phone to call her and then remember.
Same with Uncle Tex.
Same with Morgan.
The first few holidays suck. I’m not going to lie.
Having to experience the empty seat, the hole in your heart, the tradition that can’t be completed without this important person.
Being faced with a new kind of normal isn’t something that I wanted. Nobody does.
But it is the final step in moving forward. At least it was for me.
Some people never take the steps my sister did. Never make the decision to keep on living in spite of the devastating loss.
But you can.
You can keep going. You can keep living.
You can keep being a blessing to those around you even when your heart is broken and your life will never be the same.
I hope you find strength in our story.
I hope you can find a way to heal your heart.
Please share your experience and how you were able to move through and past your grief. Thank you for sharing with someone who needs it.